A Look Inside The Complicated FCC Transaction Review Process

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stopped the 180-day informal clock on both the Comcast-Time Warner Cable transaction and AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV. This temporary halt should not be read as a mark against any of the companies. The FCC review process is far more complicated and uncertain than similar review processes at either the Department of Justice (DOJ) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), even though all aim to determine how a purchase will affect the market. The institutional structure of the FCC is quite different than antitrust agencies, resulting in extended reviews and unpredictable outcomes, which have detrimental effects on consumers. Setting clear guidelines for this process should be among the top priorities of any Telecommunications Act rewrite.

In Defense of Budget Analysis

A nerd skirmish has broken out over the budgetary impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Normally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is the gold-standard for budget estimates. In 2012, CBO estimated that the ACA would reduce the deficit over ten years. Underpinning that estimate are a host of other estimates related to the economy as a whole, specific sectors of the economy, the behavior of individuals and other actors; all projected over the next decade. Suffice to say, this projection is subject to uncertainty.

Delays, Mistakes, and Violations: A Review of OMB’s Information Collection Budgets

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a combo pack of (supposedly annual) reports on the government’s overall regulatory paperwork burden. A review of the reports reveals an 828 million hour paperwork mistake, 13 ACA-related requirements in violation of the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the worst offender in the government.

Loading more entries